May 2008

School worker sent naked photos to pupil

A SCHOOL worker has been spared immediate jail after he was found to have sent naked images of himself to a schoolgirl

Karl Pennington was sentenced to a 25 week custodial sentence, suspended for two years at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday after what a judge described as “pestering” a Suffolk pupil into sexual activity with him.

Pennington, 25, of Brettenham Road, Buxhall, near Stowmarket pleaded guilty at an earlier appearance to inciting a girl into sexual activity between December 2006 and March 2007. He also admitted 15 charges of making indecent photographs of a child and to possessing 65 indecent images of a child on March 7 last year.

Nicola May, prosecuting, said Pennington worked as an IT technician at the school, which cannot be named for legal reasons.

She said the victim, who also cannot be named, had sent him an email “as a joke” implying she had an interest in him which began a succession of correspondence between the two resulting in photo messages of genitalia being exchanged.

Judge John Holt, sentencing Pennington, said: “You were in a position of trust.

“She gave you her mobile phone number which you accepted and you then used it, initially for general chatter, but then matters took a very different course.

“You began to pester her for naked photographs…and your pestering was successful. She sent you three separate photographs of herself naked and you in exchange sent her two of yourself naked. She subsequently refused to take the relationship further and you agreed.”

He said 65 indecent photographs were also found on his computer, which may have included repetitions, only after police officers had used specialist equipment to retrieve the deleted files.

A pre-sentence report, which recommended his perceived level of threat could be treated whilst still in the community, was “well argued” he said and approved by him.

He ordered a 25 week custodial sentence for inciting sexual activity and a further 25 week sentence for the photographs to run concurrently, suspended for two years.

Pennington was also made to sign on the sexual offenders register for 10 years and disqualified from working with children for the same period.

Matthew McNiff, for the defence said: “He crossed the line, he will pay the penalty and he is the first to recognise that.”